The Last Goon Show of All (1972)

TV Movie  |   |  Comedy  |  10 May 1972 (UK)
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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 71 users  
Reviews: 5 user | 1 critic

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Credited cast:
Ray Ellington ...
Himself / The Red Bladder
Max Geldray ...
Harry Secombe ...
Himself / Neddie Seagoon
Andrew Timothy ...


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Release Date:

10 May 1972 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

The Last Goon Show  »

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Did You Know?


Wallace Greenslade, who was the radio show's announcer for most of its run through the 1950s, died in 1961. Andrew Timothy had in fact been the original announcer for the radio shows in the early days, so it was fitting that he was given the job of announcing the last one of all. See more »


Neddie Seagoon: Bloodnok, hold it!
Bloodnok: I can't hold it much longer, it's old age!
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Crazy Credits

After the closing titles, Spike Milligan shouts "Now get out!" at the audience. See more »

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User Reviews

Modern crudity and a total lack of plot spoil it a bit but it is fun for Goon fans
16 May 2004 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

In 1972, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the BBC, the three original members of the Goon show came back together for one final show. However, several decades have gone past since they last performed together and they struggle to get the show started – a fact that isn't helped by the Queen's inability to attend and Her being replaced by 'Hairy' Secombe in a floral print dress. With efforts to raise the 20 shillings necessary to get the goon show started, Secombe comes across all manner of characters in his travels.

The absence of any of the goon radio shows on this database (for obvious reasons) means that this review could easily become a gushing review of their original shows or a discussion of just how cutting edge they were in the 1950's or how influential they have been since. Suffice to say that I love the goon show and they helped form my sense of humour when I used to listen to repeats on BBC radio 2 as a child (11 years old was when it all started!) and it was with an insatiable appetite for more that brought me to this VHS. As with the radio show, this show opens with some scatological material but, unlike the radio show, this doesn't settle into even a rough story. Instead the show is basically a succession of the old characters coming back into the show around the framework of Secombe trying get the show going.

In this regard the show is a bit lacking in structure for my taste and it suffers for it a little bit. However, given that the radio shows' 'stories' were really just an excuse for the characters to interact, then it's not too bad here. The humour is still there and the characters are fun, given their usual routines to do again for an adoring audience. The downside of this modern show is that the humour is a lot cruder than it was back in the 50's.

To modern audiences this will still seem quaint (no more crude than the Carry On movies of the period) but I still didn't feel it did justice to the imagination of the Goons to have them deliver crude lines that are a bit too obvious. However that said I still enjoyed the show despite not really feeling it compares to their best work of the radio series.

The cast are good and are all having fun, and it is only slightly off-putting that they will be laughing a great deal more than you will be. Secombe is strangely not allowed to play Neddy and is called Secombe all the way through the show. He is a great presence and his show (and the radio show) show a crazy humour that many of my generation will not credit him with, only knowing him for his Songs of Praise work. Sellers is a good return; arguably he had had the greatest success since the goons and had become famous worldwide in a way the others had not – but he never shows it and he feels like he is back at home rather than gracing his friends with his appearance. Milligan may not have really done his best with the script (too self indulgent) but he is good as ever and it is interesting to see how he manages to do all the voices. The three friends all work well together and they lift a sub-par script into something much better. It's sad that Greenslade had died and his distinctive welcome of 'this is the BBC' was not to be heard however both Geldray and Ellington were still there, even if both their music and their looks have dated badly now.

Overall this show is evidence of the bad side of the goon show – very weak plots, average structure and the feeling that the cast are occasionally enjoying themselves more than the audience. However it also serves as a reminder of their good points as well – they are funny, they are imaginative, they use characters well and they share their fun with the audience, despite modern touches of crudity and self-indulgence spoiling it a touch. The Goons were incredibly influential and very funny and their reputations continue to live even after their deaths. This may not be the best way to remember them, but it is a good bit of fun for fans.

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